Prayer (5 minutes):
- Thank God for the opportunities placed in front of you today
- Ask Him how you can provide Him with glory through those opportunities
- Pray for His active blessing to change reality and to bring him glory as result of your actions today.
Scripture (5 minutes): Read the passage below. Take your time. What is the phrase that resonates with you the most?
After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized (for John had not yet been put in prison).
Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.”
John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
He must increase, but I must decrease.
Often, in a work setting or when there is a confrontation – I find myself getting defensive and on edge – even if the confronted issue is true! This is pure ego. Plain and simple.
John has led souls to God, baptized countless individuals (including Jesus),and was even thought to be the Messiah by many. For a lesser man, the temptation to accept that praise and create a brand name for himself would’ve been tempting.
Instead, John consistently points those who give him attention to the true Messiah – Jesus. Even in this passage, the folks standing around John are all riled up and talking about who knows more about different religious issues (sounds like today, no?) yet John is completely calm. When the conversation turns to point out that Jesus is baptizing people nearby, (which used to be John’s “thing”) John’s response is beautiful.
He tells the people that we receive nothing God hasn’t given to us, and that”He must increase, but I must decrease.”
He doesn’t debate with them, or defend his ego. He submits his personality, his vision, his personal success, and possibly some credibility within the religious community to defer to Jesus and his glory.
This is a challenge for myself today. When I feel myself getting defensive or egotistical about the accomplishments or areas of opportunity in my life and work, I’ll strive to divert attention to Him. He’s the only one worthy of it.